The Web site theroot.com had published a list of the "blackest white folks we know," and it included Beck and Urlacher. Beck had photos of the group on a board during his show Thursday on Fox News, and he started to identify the ones he knew. When he came to a picture of Urlacher, who had a very close-cropped hair cut, he said: "I think this guy's a neo-Nazi."
Beck clarified Friday during his TV show on Fox News that he didn't know the photo was of Urlacher.
"During a segment about myself being named one of the 'blackest white folks we know' by the Web site theroot.com, I made a few comments about some others on the list," Beck said. "Now, I know absolutely nothing about sports, so I didn't realize that one of them was NFL star Brian Urlacher.
"Since then, I have been informed by my staff that Brian -- uh, Mr. Urlacher -- could kill me with his thumb in nine seconds if he wanted to. Although if we are talking about people in Chicago wanting to beat me up, he's going to have to stand in a very long line.
"Anyway, I apologize to anyone who was offended. I just made a neo-Nazi joke based on the short hair and white skin; I don't actually think he has fascist plans to take over the Earth."
Beck also referenced jokes he made about others on the list, before taking a shot at reporters who called asking about the Urlacher comment instead of other material from the show.
"In fact all 17 minutes [of the show] on financial reform were true, but the media only called whining about what joke-y name I might have called a star athlete who likely could care less what I say because he can take care of himself," Beck said.
"And they say the media doesn't focus on the right things?"